Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Seven Reasons To Fish The Bahamas

Thinking real hard about hosting a saltwater  trip to Andros South next spring... This place is amazing!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Bahamas Bonefish Day Three

So far, my trip to Andros South in search of bonefish has been incredible.  In the past, I never considered taking a destination fly fishing trip with the primary focus on bonefish.  After all, I’m a steelhead dude… I like big fish that pull hard and jump high.  I love the fact that we earn every steelhead, we suffer for it.  In many ways, suffering is just a right of passage.

Down here in the Bahamas, “every-ting ok mon…”  The most suffering I’ve done was my beer wasn’t quit as cold as I like it for the boat ride home after the days fishing.  (Fortunately, one of the guides owns a bar conveniently located next to the dock where the beer is always 38 degrees) It’s about the most laid back place I’ve ever fished.  The local Bahamians possess a refreshing calmness about everything in their life.  Every one of them seams to be unbelievably content.  Honestly, it has a way of rubbing off on you while you’re here.

As for the fishing, all I can say is the week has been filled with blistering hot fish, many shots at monster singles and doubles and tons of laughter.  Laughter is in there because I can’t stop smiling while I’m here.  The guides are great, the lodge is first class, and the folks fishing here are all loving it.  It’s been one of the most enjoyable fishing experiences I’ve ever had.  

-Tom Larimer

Sunday, March 27, 2011

It's All Good Mon... Bahamas Bonefish

It was thirty-seven degrees and raining sideways yesterday morning in Hood River.  This morning it was 80 degrees and sunny in the Bahamas.  At the moment, I’m thoroughly enjoying a good buzz from the local beer and a day of super fun bonefishing at Andros South Lodge.  I’ve traveled down here to scope out the fishery and to learn more about the lodge.  Hopefully, we'll be hosting a trip here next winter.

I’ll be here all week chasing bonefish, barracuda and a wide variety of other toothy critters on the flats.  Stay tuned for updates on my week.  So far, it’s been amazing!  Great food, great company and great fishing…  After a cold, wet Northwest winter, it’s exactly what the doctor ordered.

-Tom Larimer

Saturday, March 26, 2011

How To Rob a Bank... Deschutes Trout

Part 1
The Deschutes River is unlike most western trout rivers.  First of all, you can’t fish from the boat… It’s the law.  Consequently, you can’t just float along with a nymph rig and catch enough trout to pad your ego.  The Deschutes is a proving ground for trout anglers.  Second, it's a river that carries a lot of flow especially in the spring.  It's not unusual to have 7000 cfs or more rolling down the river in April and May.  In order to find success with the river’s wild trout in this big water, you need to approach the river the right way, fish it with total precision, and stay diligent.  Our series on “How To Rob a Bank” focuses on the fine points of fishing the river’s most productive water; the deep bank water.  We hope to share the secrets we’ve learned from fishing and guiding the river for over 40 years.  Stay tuned to the blog for new articles in the upcoming weeks.
Classic Deschutes River Bank Water

Bank Water Breakdown
Bank water is the best place to find not only the most trout on the Deschutes, but you’ll also find the biggest trout.  When we talk about bank water, we’re looking at places in the river were all the right elements come together for Deschutes Trout will hold and feed. First off, good bank water needs to have cover and depth. As Charles Brooks would say, “a bomb shelter", a safe place to go when threatened.  You should be looking for big rock, -the bigger the better.  Large boulders will create current seams, pockets and mini back eddies.  Rocks will also break up the surface giving the trout security under a protective ceiling.  If there are trees overhanging the water, all the better.  Next, it has to have a great food delivery system. (See upper left section of photo.)  Often times productive bank water will be on an outside bend of the river.  All the food is forced into the bank and is delivered in a gravy trout off foam to the trout. Caddis, mayflies, midges, crane flies and stoneflies will get funneled into the foam lines as they float down the river.  The trout will move with the foam lines and savvy anglers take advantage of it. The foam not only collects food but it acts as overhead cover as well.  The trout feel very comfortable feeding in the foam lines even in the brightest sun of the day.  Finally, great bank water must posses a soft easy current so fish can hold and feed effortlessly.  Remember, trout don’t like to work any harder than they have too. Most of the time, this soft water will be right next to raging fast water.  The lane of soft water may be as wide as ten feet and as narrow as one foot.  If you can find all of these elements you will find Deschutes trout, often times you’ll find lots of them.
Now it’s time to go find the bank water.  Do yourself a favor, either hire a guide to show you the goods or spend an afternoon looking at the river without your fly rod.  Walk the bank and look for good water.  Often times you will see a lot more and learn more if you’re in observation mode rather than fishing mode.  Take your time and watch for active trout.  You’ll be amazed at the number of fish you’ll see if you’re looking in the right spots.  Once you start recognizing good bank water you’ll realize the Deschutes has tons of it.  Our next article in our “How To Rob a Bank” series will cover how to approach bank water…  Stay tuned!

-Larimer Outfitters Staff

Winter Steelheading is Awesome

For those of you waiting for the winter steelheading to get good... The wait is over.  Recent rains have brought herds of winter fish into the rivers and we've had some great fishing over the last week.  We also  landed the first early summer of the season!  Game on!

Give us a shout if you want to get in the water!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Oregon Fly Fishing Report in Maupin Area


Barometer:  29.5  falling
Air Temp:  @ 8:00am 40  noon 50
Water Temp:  @ noon 44
Wind: @ 8:00am calm   noon: windy
Sky:  overcast
Water Vis:  better today
Water Color: also better today
CFS: 6100

Nymph fishing was much better today.  My new net spinning caddis larva was really productive.  Hatch sparse, probably wind issue.

We specialize in catching steelhead with skating dry flies.
Less than 100 days and we will be casting skaters to summer steelhead.

You can't resist them and they know it!

Skaters touch!

Joe Ringo

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Oregon Flyfishing Report in Maupin Area


Barometer:  29.9  falling
Air Temp:  @ 8:00am 34    @ 2:00pm 54
Water Temp:  @ noon 44
Wind: Calm
Sky: @8:00am sunny  @ noon overcast
Water Vis:  2.5 ft or so
Water Color: greenish brown
CFS: 6200  down slightly

Only went out for an hour or so.  Some action on new caddis pattern.  Some rising fish.

Less than 100 days and we will be casting skaters to summer steelhead.


Joe Ringo

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Oregon Fly Fishing Report in Maupin area


Barometer: 30.1 rising
Air Temp:  @ 8:00am 32  @ noon 42
Water Temp: @ noon 44
Wind: calm
Sky: partly sunny
Water Vis: 3 ft or so
Water Color: a little more tan today
CFS:  6450

Water higher again today.  We are getting some action on nymphs as well as some action at surface with blue wing olives at about 1:00 ish.  Water is better above Nina Creek as well as the hatches.  More anglers each day enjoying the sun and fishing.

Skaters move!

Joe Ringo

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Outside In

Guide Joe Ringo robbing the bank...

Trout season is here! As winter turns to spring the Deschutes will once again come to life with its incredible hatches.  If you’re like me, you love fishing dry flies.  There’s nothing like stalking a big trout chowing on bugs in a foam line. That being said, it’s easy to get tunnel vision when you find a riser… Just because you see a fish rising doesn’t mean there isn’t other trout around.  Most of the time there is.

A few years back I realized a simple strategy to maximize the number of fish that see my bug when fishing with an upstream presentation.  Instead of just making random casts or going straight to a rising fish, approach bank water with a specific method.  Always start with the seam or bubble line farthest from the bank.  On the Deschutes, that seam won’t usually be more than ten feet from the grass.  Even if you see a big greedy trout slurping on bugs, start on the outside seam.  Make a few drifts then move into the next seam.  Systematically work your way into the bank or to the rising fish.

Often times you’ll hook fish (or many fish) you didn’t see as you slowly work in.  If you hook an unseen fish, quickly turn your rod downstream and get the fish into the main current.  Your goal is to keep the fish from spooking the rising fish or other fish in the area.  If you went to the riser immediately, chances are you would have spooked any other fish nearby.  By working from the outside in, you’ll give yourself a lot more opportunities. 

The other advantage of this approach is you can gage your casting distance to a riser without spooking it.  It’s easy to see a Deschutes trout rising and get so excited you cast over the fish and blow the shot.  By working from the outside in you’ll know exactly how much line you need to place the fly in the perfect position. 

Happy hunting!
-Tom Larimer

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Deschutes Flyfishing Report for Maupin Area


Barometer:  29.8 falling
Air Temp:  @ 9:00am  46
Water Temp: @ noon 46
Wind: @ 9:00am slight  @ noon slight
Sky: overcast
Water Vis: 2.5 ft
Water Color: not good
CFS:  6100

Was on the water early today.  Went to a run close to town called table top.  Hooked 3 fish using a dark pheasant tail style nymph with a cdc hackle collar.  I have been adding cdc to most of my maylfy nymphs the past couple of years.  I don't really know if it has increased my catch rate or not.  I have never been a numbers guy so I can't compare one with the other.  But there are so many variables it would still be very hard to determine. I like it and that's all that counts.  Broke off one really nice fish.  Bad knot?

If you have taken any nymph samples on this river or have seen any of Rick Hafele's videos or books you will see there are a lot of dark nymphs in the river.  They will be in various shapes from a nice pheasant tail style to a more robust shape like a gold ribbed hares ear.  They will be in a wide range of sizes from 20 to 12.  Size 16's and 18's seem to work the best. Generally on this river small is better.  Take a sample and compare the naturals to your imitations.  I would guess the flies in your box are larger than naturals.

Skaters create!

Joe Ringo

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Airflo Skagit Switch

The idea of Switch Rods was brilliant…  Build a rod that can do everything from Spey casting to overhead casting.  –They’re the perfect tools for small and medium sized steelhead rivers.  Problem is, the industry gave us these new toys but forgot to build fly lines that were actually fun to cast on them.

Enter the new Airflo Skagit Switch.  A while back I approached Tim Rajeff, (the US distributor for Airflo fly lines and general bad-ass caster) with the problem we were having with other switch lines on the market.  –Switch rods are designed more like a traditional single hand rod taper… They’re fast in the butt section and flex progressively through the tip giving the caster the ability to overhead cast them.  However, a Spey rod taper is typically slower in the butt section and faster through the tip section.  This allows the caster to form the D-Loop and change the direction of the cast without the rod wanting to unload too quickly. The load is sustained through the whole casting cycle until the cast goes outbound.  It’s the reason why Spey casting feels so good! 

Because switch rods want to unload so quickly, we needed to find a way to slow them down giving the caster the same sensation they get from their traditional Spey rod. Until now, there hasn't been a fly line that sustained the load on the faster tapers of most switch rods.  This is why it’s been difficult (and not fun) to perform double Speys and snap-T casts with the lines currently on the market. For those of you that have tried switch rods with what's been available, you’ve probably noticed “touch and go casts” like single Speys and snake rolls work alright.  However, if you want to jack a snap-T with a big sink-tip and a heavy fly you better bring a football helmet.  Yes, you could do it… No, it wasn't fun.  

Before we started our design process, we talked with some very influential anglers to give us input on the new line.  On the West Coast, legendary caster and angler Mariusz Wroblewski helped us with prototype design and testing.  Tim & I travelled to the Great Lakes to get input from some of the best Midwest steelhead guides.  Dave Pinzcowski, Jeff Hubbard, Jay Neiderstadt, John Kluesing, Ted Kraimer, Kevin Feenstra and Brian Pitser gave us their insights on the challenges of the Great lakes fisheries.   Like many small West Coast rivers, they deal with super clear water and spooky fish.  While many of their rivers are small, they still need to throw big flies and heavy sink-tips in ultra tight casting conditions. -We needed to consider the demands of both fisheries in order to make the ultimate switch line.  After a lot of thought and a couple of prototypes, we came up with the solution to the switch rod problem.

Tim Rajeff & Jay Neiderstadt on Michigan's Big Manistee

The new line has a huge rear diameter and two-foot rear taper.  This helps sustain the load on the rod giving the caster that sweet feeling of Spey casting we all love.  The front taper is a big 7’ wedge that turns over your biggest tips and heaviest flies.  Like all Airflo lines, the polyurethane coating is supple -yet tough.  This line was built to make switch rods not only fun to cast, but to make them legitimate fishing tools.  Plus, the heads go from 540 grains down to 360 grains in 30 grain increments.  Although we built this line for anglers chasing steelhead & salmon, the smaller sizes are perfect for trout anglers looking to swing streamers on switch rods.  All of the heads are marked on the loop sleeve telling you what the line is and the grain weight. If you’re a fan of the Airflo Skagit Compact, you will love this line!

As a side note, I’ve been fishing the head on full-length Spey rods as well.  While I love the Skagit Compacts, the Skagit Switch gives you the ability to throw your biggest junk with zero back casting room.  If you fish with tight casting conditions but still want the distance and control of a longer rod, this head will make your life really good.  That said, I probably wouldn’t put it on a rod longer than 13’6.  This line will really shine on short, fast rods. Think 11'9 to 13' sticks that you love but are tough to cast.  That said, Mariusz thinks the 480 on a 13'6 #7 weight is the best Skagit line he's ever cast!  As a general rule of thumb, go 30 grains lighter than what you normally fish in a Skagit Compact.  If you fish a 540 Skagit on your rod, go to a 510 grain in the Switch.

-Tom Larimer

We’ll have two full sets of the heads at our Spey Casting Schools on April 30th

Airflo Skagit Switch

Monday, March 14, 2011

Oregon Fly Fishing Report in Maupin area


Barometer:  30.0 steady
Air Temp:  @ 9:00am 40  @4:00pm 48
WaterTemp: @ noon 45
Wind:  9:00am calm  @4:00pm windy
Sky: overcast and raining  @4:00pm raining
Water Vis: 2 ft or so  worst than yesterday
Water Color: Bad worst yhan yesterday
CFS: 6300

Fishing only ok.  Used a bright green net spinning caddis two trout.  Sparse BWO hatch, no trout up.

Skaters expand!

Joe Ringo

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Oregon Fly Fishing Report in Maupin area

Barometer: 30.2
Air Temp: @ 8:00am 40
Water Temp: 45
Wind: calm
Sky: High clouds
Water Vis: 2.5 ft or so
Water Color: off
CFS: 5540

We are catching some fish. Hot fly red copper john 18 or 16


Joe Ringo

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Deschutes Flyfishing Report for Maupin Area

I really like hunting for fish, trout and steelhead. One reason I love to sight fish for trout is, it is generally easy. We walk high banks next to the shore and look for fish feeding at the surface or at mid depth. We also sit on the bank and observe the water close to the bank, especially under the trees. We are looking for a fin that breaks the surface, a subtle swirl or a flash just below the surface, maybe even a nose poking through, sipping something which will cause a little ripple on the surface.

Deschutes River fish love to hold in the quiet, slower moving water next to the bank because so much food is delivered there.

I say sight fishing is easy because you know where the fish are. You are casting to working visible fish; nymph fishing is another story all together. You don’t know where the fish are in the water column today or even this time of day.

Let’s start with fishing bank water first because it’s really fun, generally easy, and very, very productive. Once you learn to fish bank water successfully it will be easier to learn to read and find other productive water. I see a lot of anglers waste time fishing water that doesn’t hold fish. Have you ever heard the old saying “they are standing where they should be fishing”? So very true here.

To be continued….

Skaters have consequences!

Joe Ringo

Barometer: @ 8:00am 29.9 steady
Air Temp: @ 8:00am  42  @ 1:30  58
Water Temp: @ 1:30pm  46
Wind: calm
Sky:  Partly cloudy all day
Waer Vis:  3.5 feet or so better again today
Water Color: Better but not good
CFS: 5120

The adult flies we saw today included: bwo, march brown, caddis size 16 or 14, small caddis, and midge.

Skaters are a life style!

Joe Ringo

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Deschutes Flyfishing Report for Maupin Area

Finding Fish

Wow! What a huge subject. Many really good books have been written on this subject. I will not try to paraphrase all that literature here, but I will pick a few items and apply them to what happens on the Deschutes River in the Maupin area.

A year or so ago I watched a couple dvd’s by Wendell Ozefovich titled “The Underwater World of Trout” Vol 1 and 2. What an eye opening experience. One of the central themes was how easy it was for trout to live in and hold and feed in fast heavy water. I highly recommend these dvd’s.

All the previous information in books and magazines and guides, etc., all claimed that trout live in the softer water because……

After seeing these dvd’s I started to fish in faster and heavier water than I had been before. My results have been surprising. More bigger and stronger fish. I still hunt for active and feeding fish in the back eddies, along the banks and under the trees, and especially in foam lines close to shore. But this just gives me more options and opportunities to mix it up. I love to try new stuff from tactics, to lines, to flies.

Stay tuned... more to follow.


Joe Ringo

Barometer:  29.9  falling.
Air Temp: @ 8:00am 34  @ noon 45
Water Temp: @ noon 45
Wind: @ 8:00 none  @ noon slight breeze.
Sky: Clear and Sunny
Water Vis:  3 ft or so better than yesterday.
Water Color:  still off, but better than yesterday.
CFS: 5090


Joe Ringo

Join Us At The Albany Show!

We'll be at the Northwest Fly Tying and Fishing Expo this weekend in Albany, Oregon.  Stop by our booth on the casting pond!  Tom Larimer will be giving a talk on the Lower Deschutes both days in the Destination Theater.  Larimer Outfitters guide Brian Styskal will be giving a class on line splicing.  It's going to be a fun show!  We hope to see you there!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Clackamas & Sandy Steelhead Report

Just a quick report from the Clackamas.  The recent rains have brought the river up and with it new steelhead have arrived.  Water temps are still fairly low and the fish are acting like it.  Not a lot of bone crushing grabs but at least they're finally eating the fly!  We've been finding fish almost every day.

With the river running in the mid 12' range, good color and warming water temperatures, we should see more new fish and improving conditions in the upcoming weeks.

I fished the lower Sandy today with Brian Styskal.  There's still a lot of sand from the flood in the lower river but it's slowly making it's way out of the system.  We hooked one but broke it off as it charged like a bull for a log jam.  Heartbreak!  So it goes with winter fishing... Things can go sideways real quick!  Still, it felt great to feel the pull of a good fish.

-Tom Larimer

Deschutes Flyfishing Report for Maupin Area

What a great day. Bright sunshine and 50 plus degrees. We had some company on the river today. It’s great to see other fishermen on the water. It is just peaceful and calming. Talked to several anglers, no one did really well, but a few fish to hand. Fishing is a fun pleasurable activity and just because we don’t always catch as many fish as we might like, it’s really great to be here. It can some times be frustrating but don’t beat yourself up. Enjoy the day, the water, celebrate the sun and the calmingness. Life on the river is the best.


Joe Ringo

Barometer:  30.2  steady
Air Temp: @ 8:00am 36  @noon 54
Water Temp: @ noon 44
Wind: @ 8:00am zero  @ noon zero
Sky:  @ 9:00am  clear and sunny
Water Vis:  3ft or so
Water Color: bad
CFS: 6000


Joe Ringo

Friday, March 4, 2011

Bottom or Top?

The first time I watched Dec Hogan cast my jaw dropped…  It was fairly early in the “Windcutter Era” and short belly multi-tip lines were new to the Spey world.  Prior to meeting Dec, most of my early Spey casting advice had come from two instructors.  One was Scottish the other was Irish.  Both of them beat into my head, “Ya push with the top and pull with the bottom!”  The day I met Dec, he gave me some very sage advice.  “Focus on your bottom hand for power, pull the rod through the stroke” were his words.  After some practice I changed my casting stoke and my loops have been tighter ever since.

That was many years ago.  Now the idea of using your bottom hand is nothing new.  This is partly because of great Spey instructors like Dec, and partly because the evolution of Spey equipment.  The trend in two-handed rods has been shorter lengths and considerably faster tapers.  Additionally, Spey lines are following suite and also becoming shorter.  Lately, I’ve been fishing a 12’6 #6 weight with a prototype Airflo Skagit Switch for winter steelhead.  The head length (without sink-tip) is only 20.5 feet!  That being said, the shorter and faster the rod is, the more bottom hand you’ll need to use to drive tight loops.  The same can be said about shorter Skagit and Scandi style Spey lines. 

While a bottom hand dominant stroke is great for chucking long, pretty casts, there is a time to use your top hand to drive the rod.  When you have lots of back casting room, you can drive a big, compressed D-loop behind you.  The bigger the D-loop you form, the more power you’re going to get out of the cast.  It’s easy to make a nice, smooth bottom-hand stoke when the rod is loaded with an efficient D-loop.  However, if you’re in a spot with little to no room behind you, you’re going to have to change things up.  This is where your top hand comes into play.

As you get closer to the brush, you’re going to have to take some speed out of your D-loop.  Slow everything down early in the casting cycle.  Keep in mind; you still want a slight acceleration into the back cast.  Judge your back cast speed by the distance behind you.  The slower you go and the smaller the D-loop is, the less efficient the back cast will be.  As you go into your forward stroke, your going to have to make up for the inefficiency of the shallow D-loop.  Instead of trying to pop the bottom hand like you do with tons of line speed; use a little more top hand in your stroke.  In really tight spots you may have to use all top hand to drive the cast.  You’ll also have to lengthen your forward stroke to make up for the lack of line speed. Your loop won’t be as tight but I guarantee the fish won’t care.  -Just as long as your fly turns over.  The next time you get into a tight spot just remember this; The more back casting room you have and the bigger your D-loop is, the more bottom hand you can use.  The less back casting room you have and the smaller your D-loop is, the more top hand you’ll need to get the job done. 

-Tom Larimer
Larimer Outfitters

Oregon Fly Fishing Report in Maupin area

I did go fishing for about an hour. Skunked.  Saw some really small adult caddis flies on stream side rocks. They might have been micro caddis or maybe Glossosom -saddle-case-makers, little tan short horn sedge. Don't really know, what ever it is small. There was a sparse bwo hatch but no fish rising. Saw my first March Brown adult of the season, only one however. The water color is really BAD.

Barometer: 30.0  rising
Air Temp:  @9.00am 50  @ noon 55
Water Temp: @ noon 45
Wind: @ 9:00am calm  @ noon slight
Water Vis: 2 ft maybe
Water Color: bad worse than yesterday

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Deschutes Flyfishing Report for Maupin Area

Went fishing yesterday even though the water was off color and the visibility was poor. It had been about two weeks and I couldn’t stand it any longer. We drove down to Sumac which is below Oak Springs. I tied on a caddis net spinning larva imitation I have been working on, a small split shot, and an indicator. I cast in upstream put in an upstream mend and we were off. First cast fish on. I have a witness. Of course I was excited, this was going to be a great day and this new pattern would the next newest and greatest fly. A dozen casts later, having covered this nice little run thoroughly, I changed flies. Maybe it isn’t the next miracle fly. Oh well time to move.

Wind was blowing pretty good by now so we headed toward home. We stopped at table top. I put on a Larimer golden stone nymph pattern and after 8 or so casts hooked into a very nice 14 to 15 inch trout. Lost it in the heavy current but had a good battle.

You need to move on this river. You need to move up and down the road. You need to move when in the water or on the bank. Move. Also move your indicator. Nymph fishing is challenging and you need to find out at what depth the fish are feeding at this spot. The depth may very well change at the next spot. You may even elect to move your dropper or trailing fly. MOVE.


Joe Ringo

Barometer:  29.7 falling
Air Temp: @9:00em 45   @ 3:00pm 50
Water Temp: @ 1:30pm 46
Wind: @ 9:00am Calm  @ noon  windy
Sky: mostly sunny
Water Vis: about 2 ft
Water color: bad
CFS: 6220

Joe Ringo

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Deschutes Flyfishing Report for Maupin Area


Barometer: 29.9 steady
Air Temp: @10;00am 50  @ 3:00pm  48
Water Temp: @ 3:00pm 44 (yea, love it)
Wind: slight breeze all day
Sky:  Overcast with high clouds, some sun breaks
Water Vis:  3 ft or so still not great
Water Color: Greenish-brown. off still, ok but not best.
CFS:  6090